Stanley Park

Stanley Park

Paperback - 2001
Average Rating:
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A young chef who revels in local bounty, a long-ago murder that remains unsolved, the homeless of Stanley Park, a smooth-talking businessman named Dante -- these are the ingredients of Timothy Taylor's stunning debut novel -- Kitchen Confidential meets The Edible Woman .

Trained in France, Jeremy Papier, the young Vancouver chef, is becoming known for his unpretentious dishes that highlight fresh, local ingredients. His restaurant, The Monkey's Paw Bistro, while struggling financially, is attracting the attention of local foodies, and is not going unnoticed by Dante Beale, owner of a successful coffeehouse chain, Dante's Inferno. Meanwhile, Jeremy's father, an eccentric anthropologist, has moved into Stanley Park to better acquaint himself with the homeless and their daily struggles for food, shelter and company. Jeremy's father also has a strange fascination for a years-old unsolved murder case, known as "The Babes in the Wood" and asks Jeremy to help him research it.

Dante is dying to get his hands on The Monkey's Paw. When Jeremy's elaborate financial kite begins to fall, he is forced to sell to Dante and become his employee. The restaurant is closed for renovations, Inferno style. Jeremy plans a menu for opening night that he intends to be the greatest culinary statement he's ever made, one that unites the homeless with high foody society in a paparazzi-covered celebration of "local splendour."
Publisher: Toronto : Vintage Canada, c2001.
Edition: Vintage Canada edition
ISBN: 9780676973099
0676973094
Characteristics: 423 pages ;,21 cm.

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Eosos
Apr 01, 2015

After the first few chapters I thought for sure that this book was going to be a struggle to finish. It was bizarre and crazy. But somehow those weird characters, strange ideas and curious happenings turned into an enthralling read.
The author really knows Vancouver. He caught the attitudes of the hippie vs. hipster vs. corporate vs. homeless that made it obvious he's lived and been a part of this city.
The entire story revolves around the son and his cooking. Which kind of makes it sound like a foodie story but I found it good even though I am not usually a fan of food descriptions (I don't cook and don't care to learn, thus not making me very interested). The characters include the homeless (maybe crazy), a corporate bigwig, chefs, a librarian and lots of credit (trust me it's almost a character).
The nemesis Dante, his business and his attitude were a favorite part for me. He's a successful creep and I wonder who he's based on because he kinda reminds me of Chip Wilson (lululemon founder).
Somehow a jumble of people and stories managed to be cohesive and engaging.

WVMLStaffPicks Dec 23, 2014

Stir in a little mystery, a big dollop of humour, use only local ingredients, visit the homeless in Stanley Park, eat at the finest restaurants, and watch chef Jeremy Papier create a night to remember. This is a truly amazing debut novel from one of Vancouver’s hottest young authors.

v
vcc
Apr 14, 2014

This novel seemed so promising with a link to the mystery of two young children murdered in Vancouver's Stanley Park in the 1950s. The story focusses around a chef, Jeremy, and his father, an Anthropologist doing his fieldwork by living among the habitants of Stanley Park. The Professor's main drive is to figure out the mystery of the murders, but this fascinating story gets pushed back when the author spends too much time detailing restaurant menus.

Reviewed: 9 June 2005

WVMLBookClubTitles Jun 22, 2013

Vancouver writer Taylor takes a meat cleaver to mystery fiction by packing this novel with backroom culinary politics, an unusual father-son relationship and some moralizing on the outrage we should feel about the wastefulness of bourgeois society. With just the right amount of angst, social conscience and humour, this is an entertaining look at the perils faced by a creative and well-intentioned young chef.

s
sharon711
Jun 09, 2012

Mixed feelings about this book. It started off so slowly I thought for quite a while I'd just give up on it. But I'm glad I kept slogging through the preamble, because the action heats ups! It turns into a fascinating read on what makes a good chef tick, the business side to running a business, and what it takes to succeed in the restaurant trade. The ending is hilarious and true to the character of Jeremy - very satisfying. If you are at all interested in the world of food this makes a good read. P.S. From the nonfiction books I've read about the lives of real chefs and the twists and turns their lives take, this book is pretty well right on the mark for realism and more interesting to read than nonfiction (IMO).

abird Apr 30, 2010

Q&Q Can Lit Canon pick (April 2010)

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